Since we know the only safe jobs in media are on Chicago Tribune Editorial Board, Alistair Tait reports the somber mood in Britain as an admired colleague (Lewine Mair) and respected paper (Daily Telegraph) ominously part ways. And in such dignified fashion.
“It was horrible the way it was handled,” she said. “I was called to a meeting on my return from China (where she was covering the World Cup) but it wasn’t held anywhere near the sports department, presumably in case I caused too much of a fuss. I was taken to an office where someone from human resources told me I was being made redundant in a tone that was completely cold and officious.
“I got no thanks for 20 years of hard work. It was all over in about 15 minutes.”
Mair’s departure has shocked newspaper writers over here. That’s why there was such a somber mood at today’s lunch in London to celebrate Padraig Harrington’s award as European golfer of the year.
If any newspaper was expected to hold onto its golf writer, it was The Telegraph. Arguably no British paper in recent years has given as much in-depth coverage to the game than this broadsheet. The general view is that if it could happen at The Telegraph, no one is safe.
Meanwhile, the street gossip is that The Times is set to ditch 10 percent of its work force. It has two excellent golf writers in John Hopkins and Peter Dixon. However, as Mair’s example shows, quality doesn’t matter when the bean counters start looking at ways to cut back.
These are worrying times. Who would recommend any youngster to go into journalism these days? Not me.